Erie County BOE formally certifies Buffalo Mayoral ballot without Byron Brown’s name

India Walton-Byron Brown mayoral race

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — After several weeks of uncertainty, the Erie County Board of Elections formally certified the ballot for the Buffalo Mayoral race and it will not include the name Byron Brown. 

Friday afternoon’s meeting to amend the ballot certification was scheduled on what elections officials considered the final day that they could send out about 1,300 military and federal ballots, (280 to City of Buffalo voters) in order for the voting process to be completed in time.

The certification comes just one day after judges brought more clarity in two legal challenges.

Late Thursday afternoon, a panel of judges for the Fourth Department of the state appellate court in Rochester reversed a September 3 decision by State Supreme Court Justice Paul Wojtaszek which had directed the Erie County Board of Elections to put Byron Brown’s name on the ballot under the Buffalo Party line, even though the filing of that petition came months after New York State’s independent filing deadline of May 25.

Less than an hour after Thursday’s ruling came down from Rochester, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City granted a stay of an earlier ruling by US District Court Judge John Sinatra which had also directed the Board of Elections to place Brown’s name on the ballot, and ruling that that the state’s early filing deadline was unconstitutional.

On September 9, the Erie County Board of Elections commissioners certified the 2021 general election ballot for every race except for Buffalo mayor. Friday’s decision to amend the ballot certification simply adds the mayor’s race to ballot listing only India Walton under the Democratic line, since she won the Democratic primary on June 22.

No other candidate’s name will appear in the race for Buffalo mayor, so Brown is waging a write in campaign.

Buffalo's Mayoral Race

George Richert is an award-winning reporter who first joined the News 4 team in 1998, later returning in 2018. See more of his work here.

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